Tracker to show status of graft cases and speed up hearings
CJ, judges tackling issues of missing files, injunctions, litigation delays, frequent adjournments, bad bail, bond and sentencing decisions, ‘shopping’ for friendly judges
Chief Justice David Maraga yesterday instructed the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Division to create an electronic tracking system to monitor the status of corruption cases.
On October 18, President Uhuru Kenyatta blamed the judiciary, the EACC, the Auditor General and other agencies for the sluggish anti-corruption fight. He said he had already done everything he possibly could.
The new CJ said he will ensure the judiciary is not blamed for failures of other arms of government. The electronic tool, a master cases dataset, will enable agents of the EACC and the Di- rector of Public Prosecutions to monitor case status by computer.
It will prevent the disappearance of files, which has often stalled cases. Speaking during a council meeting for the Administration of Justice, Maraga urged judges to prioritise the war on corruption and pledged to put it atop his agenda.
“I’ve made a public commitment that fighting corruption will form a significant part of my transformation agenda. I’m determined to succeed. So please don’t fail me,” he said. “The judiciary won’t carry any institution’s cross. We’ll work on our own internal weaknesses that are, in some instances, quite acute.”
Maraga said he and judges are tack- ling the thorny issue of injunctions, often sought by corrupt suspects to shield themselves against prosecution.
“I’m having discussions with judges on injunctions, delays in litigation, frequent adjournments, poorly considered bail decisions, bond and sentencing — issues that have exposed courts to abuse by the corrupt,” he said.
Maraga said he will gazette wide-ranging practice directions to eliminate forum shopping. This practice is used by some of the accused to have their cases heard by courts and jurists they consider mostly likely to deliver favourable verdicts. A daily anti-graft court bulletin will help the public know exactly who and which agency are responsible for which case.
Justice Njoki Ndung’u, Justice Jackton Ojwang, DCJ Philomena Mwilu, CJ David Maraga, Justice Mohamed Ibrahim and Justice Smokin Wanjala during the inaugural session for the reconstituted Supreme Court in Nairobi on Monday